Conducting Research

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The Victoria University Archives is closing on December 20 2023 until the summer (the exact date of reopening is not yet available). We are moving our collections into temporary storage to accommodate numerous construction projects on campus.

We look forward to serving you again in summer 2024!

Using Finding Aids

Archival records are described in finding aids and our finding aids can be found in two places. Discover Archives (a shared platform with other University of Toronto archives) or our website. If you are searching finding aids on our website, you will see that they are organized into six categories:

See also:
Browse/Search our holdings
• How to Request Files
Request a Research Appointment

  • Administrative bodies
  • Student/alumni organizations
  • Administrators/faculty personal papers
  • Students/alumni personal papers
  • Affiliates
  • Collections

Browsing: Descriptions of specific corporate and personal records can be accessed by clicking on the appropriate name, reading the fonds level description, and opening series and subseries descriptions (where applicable). Many fonds include descriptions down to the file level and include a box/file list; however, item level descriptions are rare. Click on the chevron symbol () to open additional descriptive information.

Searching: If you are searching our website, the search engine will search all the records using a basic keyword search. If you are searching the Discover Archives platform directly, please click the question mark in the top right for search assistance and for information on running advanced searches.

Requesting: Keep track of the records you wish to consult when you visit the Archives. Review our Requesting Files handout to learn how to identify and locate the information needed to request files in our finding aids. Complete our Appointment Request form to submit the materials you wish to view and to request a research appointment date and time.

Conducting Research in Person

Records can be viewed in the Emmanuel College Library by appointment only, from Monday to Friday, 9:30am to 4:30pm (hours are reduced in July and August). Contact us to arrange an appointment by completing the Appointment Request form. At least two business days advance notice is required.

See also:
Contact us
• How to Request Files
Request a Research Appointment
Collection of Personal Information
Addresses and Parking

Researchers are required to complete a registration form and they will be asked to provide a valid photo identification, such as a student card or driver's license. Researchers may also be asked to sign-in each day they visit.

  • Due to storage and retrieval limitations, researchers may not be able to review all the materials requested at one appointment. Be prepared for multiple visits. The Archivist will advise at the time the request is made if more appointments are required.
  • Only pencils may be used by those consulting archival material. Library staff will provide a pencil if one is needed.
  • The use of laptop computers is encouraged. Power sources are provided at the tables in the reading room (Emmanuel College Library). Wireless internet access is also available.
  • For the protection and preservation of the material, gloves may be required for photographs, art, and other artifacts and these will be provided.

The complete Rules and Regulations will be available to researchers either in advance of their visit or when they arrive.

Office Hours

See also:
Book Office Hours

One hour appointments are available - Book your appointment online!

Do you have questions about conducting your research? Struggling with using a finding aid or other tools? Are you new to using archives? Office Hours are a great way to connect and get assistance before making an appointment request. You can make an in person or virtual appointment to talk with an Archivist about your research at the Victoria University Archives.

Obtaining Copies

Photocopies: Permission from the Archivist is required in order to photocopy records. The copies created are subject to copyright legislation, donor restrictions, and the physical condition of the materials.

Cameras and Scanners: Researchers are allowed to take non-flash photographs with their own camera, phone, or make use of a handheld scanner. For other digitization requests, permission from the Archivist is required. The copies created are subject to copyright legislation, donor restrictions, and the physical condition of the materials.

Records may not be copied if this involves an infringement of copyright. Copies are provided solely for the purpose of research or private study; use for any other purpose may require the authorization of the copyright owner. Through receipt of copies, the researcher assumes full responsibility for locating the copyright owner and obtaining any necessary authorizations for publication or any use other than research or private study.

See also:
Permission to Publish and Associated Fees form

Copyright matters are subject to the provisions of Canada's Copyright Act.

Providing access to collections or copies of archival materials does not include or imply permission to use the materials in a publication, broadcast, or performance. For permission to use materials in a publication, broadcast, or performance, written application must be made to the Library using the Permission to Publish and Associated Fees form.

Note: The Archives can only grant permission for the materials where Victoria University holds the copyright. If the copyright for the requested materials is not held by Victoria University, the researcher assumes full responsibility for locating the copyright owner and obtaining any necessary authorizations for publication or any use other than research or private study.

Citing Archival Material

See also:
Dalhousie University Library's Guide to Archival Research provides citation standard examples.

Researchers should cite archival material according to applicable standards. Common citation standards include American Psychological Association (APA), Modern Languages Association (MLA), and the Chicago Manual of Style. Regardless of the standard followed, citations will usually contain the following elements:

Title - Files will have titles either assigned by an archivist or provided by the creator of the file.

  • Correspondence
  • North House Sweater

Name and number of fonds/collection - Each fonds or collection will have a name and number given to it.

  • Collection 2188 - Victoria University (Toronto, Ont.). Artifacts Collection
  • Fonds 2110 - Margaret V. Ray fonds

Accession, Box, and File/Item numbers - These number act like a library call number. This is what's required to locate specific materials.

  • Our accession, box and file numbers are formatted in the following way: 2018.07V1-6
  • 2018.07V (accession number); 1 (box number); 6 (file number)
  • Note that artifacts and photographs may not use the V in the accession number.

Repository and Location - The name of the archives and it's location.

  • Victoria University Archives, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Last updated: November 24, 2023